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A former Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amanze Uchegbulam, has pulled out of the presidential race of the NFF election billed for Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Friday.
An Abuja High Court order on September 15 had stopped the poll, which had been marred by crisis, from holding on September 30, leaving both the aspirants into various positions in the Glasshouse and close followers of the country’s football bewildered on when it would hold.
This, according to media reports, forced some of the aspirants to pull out of the electoral race, to avoid being jailed for contempt of court.
But following an appeal by the NFF, the federation was given a last-minute go-ahead to hold the election on Friday, as earlier scheduled.
The NFF, in a statement signed by its Media Director, Ademola Olajire, said, “A former NFF 1st Vice President, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, pulled out of the race during the week.”
Meanwhile, three of the 11 aspirants for the presidency of the contentious election, namely Mouktar Mohammed, Musa Amadu and Idah Peterside, have denied pulling out of the race.
Mouktar, the youngest of the presidential aspirants, denied the reports, saying, “No, it’s not true that I pulled out of the race. The decision I took earlier was only based on if the court injunction was still in place. There was no time I pulled out of the election,” Mouktar told The PUNCH.
When our correspondent contacted Amadu, the ex-NFF secretary-general said reports of him stepping down were “mere rumours.”
“Following Thursday’s Court of Appeal verdict clearing the coast for elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation as scheduled, I will participate in the September 30 election.
“This notice becomes necessary following several rumours that I have pulled out from the presidential race; as no such news emanated from me.
“I assure all my supporters that I will be contesting for the position of the President, Nigeria Football Federation in Benin City, Edo State come Friday, September 30, 2022,” Amadu told The PUNCH.
On his part, Peterside described those peddling rumours of his withdrawal as “enemies of progress.”
“Let it be known that I’m in this race to be the president of the NFF. People are already saying I have withdrawn; this is the work of the enemies of progress. As I speak with you, I’m here waiting like others for whatever the electoral committee would say. Please disregard every other information that is not coming directly from me,” the ex-Super Eagles goalkeeper turned pundit stated.